What are the benefits of hotel interior design? That’s the question that comes up quite a bit amongst the hotelier community when assigning limitations or increases on their budgets towards the process. Many consider hotel interior design as a one way expense, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Admittedly, for some hotels there isn’t much need for a change-up in interiors and contract bedroom furniture, perhaps because they have recently undertaken refurbishments or there is nothing that really needs to be replaced or replenished at the time. However, there are many hotels in the hospitality industry that do need to undertake some serious interior design solutions.
Ask any hotel that has gone through the redesign process and they can tell you – a refurbishment can repay dividends; especially when you do it the Millbrook Contract Beds way!
An introduction to the Millbrook Contract Beds Way
Our 60 years of experience supplying the hospitality industry with contract beds gives us plenty to base our advice on. Hotel interior design is a highly important element of maintaining a consistent level of customer satisfaction. In our opinion, the better the standards of aesthetic, quality, service options and variety, the happier your guests will be.
But how do you do it effectively?
If you have read any of our blogs on maintaining contract bedroom furniture, specifically contract beds, you will know how to check for signs of wear & tare. It is important to know what needs replacing and when!
You want to find a balance between operational functionality and aesthetics. Through getting these two areas right you can conjure an ambience reflective of your hotel brand and experience. It really makes a difference if you want to stand out from the competition. Every hotel, B&B, guesthouse and residence has its own unique flavour and signature. You must recognise what it is that makes your business different and optimise the strengths inherent within that. For instance, perhaps your hotel has a running theme of medieval features from four-poster contract beds in every room to candle chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. It might be merely a quirk of the hotel interior design or it could be its defining feature, but you want to make sure you have fully optimised these qualities to stand-out and represent your unique selling points.
Your best course of action is to take inventory throughout the hotel and explore just what needs to be refurbished:
- #Guest rooms
- #Dining room
Once you have taken not of what needs the work done (if not the whole hotel) you can start drawing up design plans.
In the next part of this blog we will go into greater detail of the hotel interior design process in order to help you navigate your way through what needs to be done.
Contact Us at Millbrook Contract Beds for information on your contract beds and for impartial advice on contract bedroom furniture. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in step with our community.
Millbrook Contract Beds has always been fascinated by the science behind sleep and dreams – the most enigmatic part of sleeping.
Dreams are adventures into the fantastical, limitless realms of imagination and the unconscious mind. When you get into bed, wrap yourself up in the duvet and drift into a deep state of sleep, you find yourself on a journey into the unknown every single night. Research into dreams have identified that everybody dreams, it is just that not everyone can remember that they were dreaming.
The most intriguing question behind the nature of dreams and why we dream is “How do they work?” or “What causes them?” The truth is no one knows the full answer to this question. The mind is a deep, labyrinth of mysteries and secrets. What is known is that dreaming can be the most amazing, surreal, enlightening and telling experience a person can have. Interpreting them has been of great interest, musing and philosophising over the centuries. People may have even seen the most recent interpretation of dream states in the box office movie hit, Inception.
If you want to dream more, or be more aware that you are actually dreaming, one of the keys to accomplishing that task is to have the right sleeping environment. That often and very obviously permits getting a decent bed in order.
You need comfort, durability and space. If your bedroom is cluttered then so is your mind. Psychologically, a messy room is bad for your mental health where as a clean, well-kept environment, free of distractions such as computers and televisions, creates a serene, relaxing area that the mind can take-in without dilution or disturbance.
Try to tailor the bed you sleep in to be the right fit and size for your body, shape, and weight. Consider if you need a spring coil mattress or a featherbed. Do you suffer from back pain, in which case an orthopaedic bed would be required? Do you have allergies? If so, you would need to make the bed and all the pillows hypoallergenic. Do you have the right headboard? Is the headboard adjusted correctly so that it doesn’t hurt your head while you sleep? Know yourself, identify your needs and manipulate your bedroom to create a stable, peaceful and comfortable environment.
Once you have accomplished this, you should be able to not only get a good night’s rest but also drift seamlessly into a more focused dream state.
People often wonder about the nature of nightmares and ask if there is a way to prevent them from occurring. Nightmares are effectively just bad dreams through a cloud of intense unconscious extremities. The nightmare can often be so intense or severe they cause a quickened pulse, increase of sweat, heightened anxiety and sometimes even wake the dreamer up. The nightmare can originate from physical or psychological catalysts. Illness and medications can stimulate anxieties and fears that manifest in the unconscious, but more often than not, nightmares are merely reflections of stresses, pressures and/or traumas that you experience in your daily lives. The only possible way to effectively neutralise a nightmare is to confront the fear, or face-up to the anxiety or stress within the nightmare. It takes discipline and an upbeat attitude before and during your sleep, but a trained, focused dreamer can conjure up pleasant scenarios and emotions simply by thinking positively. This is the most successful technique to combat against nightmares.
The only way to encourage such an attitude is to start in the physical world by addressing the problems with the materials around you such as your bed, your sleeping environment and then to train yourself to think positively before going to sleep.
Dreams are mysteries wrapped inside enigmas and riddles, and the only way to fully appreciate or in some ways understand them, requires psychological and physical control. You can start by sorting your way through the outer world and eventually working towards sorting your way through the inner world. These two places exist and relate to each other in a concurrent synchronicity that only you can master and tailor to your sleeping needs.
Do you talk in your sleep, or have you been told that you talk in your sleep? Maybe your partner does? Or perhaps your child? Or a friend? Chances are; you’ve encountered the sleep talker before. It’s quite common, particularly for people in the UK. Millbrook Contract Beds investigates!
At first glance, or at first sound, sleep talking can be rather amusing. Some people talk gibberish in their sleep. They make strange sounds and mumble incoherent words and phrases. It’s essentially just babbling and does appear to be pretty silly. But of course, not all sleep talking is as amusing as this. Depending on what the person says or who witnesses the sleep talker’s babble, it can get pretty weird, pretty fast.
So what is sleep talking?
Sleep talking was once known as Somniloquy – an off-shoot of the phrase insomnia. It is a genuine sleep disorder and is defined by experts as being a state of unconsciousness where the sleeper is not aware that they are talking. In a sense, it is similar to sleepwalking.
Sleep talking can involve complicated dialogues or monologues, complete gibberish or mumbling.
What causes sleep talking?
Well, there are various causes behind the disorder. Sleep talking can be a short-lived disorder that may only last for a month or a year and then just stop. It is all dependent upon physical and psychological changes that affect lifestyle and sleep patterns.
The primary causes of sleep talking are:
- Sleep talking maybe hereditary
- Sleep deprivation
Sleep talking is associated with children quite a lot, but like night terrors it is something that most people eventually grow-out of. 50% of children tend to sleep talk whereas only 15% of adults suffer from the sleep disorder. Males are more likely to sleep talk than females. Perhaps they just have more to say?
Statistics aside, sleep talking can develop at any stage of a person’s life for the long or the short term.
What do people talk about in their sleep?
As stated before, some people just babble incoherently. However, this isn’t always the case.
The language a person uses and their rhythms of speech change when they start sleep talking. While the actual conversation they are having might not make any sense you can decipher what they are saying to some extent. It could just be broken sentences in reply to a dream conversation/situation the sleeper is currently experiencing.
Much of these sleep talking incidents can be attributed to past experiences, relationships and recurring anxieties. Sleep terrors, sleep walking, sleep apnea, REM sleep behaviour disorder, psychiatric disorders and nocturnal seizures are also possible root causes.
Can sleep talking be cured?
Treatment depends on the cause.
A GP should be consulted first. It all depends on the root cause. If it’s stress then it may be easier to cure, however, if it is a deeper psychological cause, it may require some kind of therapy.
Avoid alcohol and medication as these tend to amplify the affects.
Sleep talking is not a long term problem, medical assistance and some relaxation techniques can help put this problem to rest. Bottom line: it’s curable. Follow Millbrook Contract Beds on Twitter and Facebook!
In a third instalment of our blog series that de-myth’s the common sleep myths out there Millbrook Contract Beds continues to quash those false facts floating around to help you optimise your sleep and understand the real stories behind those pesky myths.
So what’s next on our list?
As you get older the need for sleep decreases
There seems to be a misconception about the elderly and how because they rise so early it must mean that they don’t need sleep as much, but this is much more of a generational issue than anything else. A lifetime of hardworking, early to bed and early to rise living makes an imprint on you that lasts into your twilight years.
Older persons don’t necessarily need less sleep when it is in fact their ability to sleep well. As you age you don’t have as consistent a sleep cycle as you do when you are younger. It gets harder to have a full sleep ending up far more fragmented with the sleeper waking up much more often during the night for different, varying reasons, some even medical.
You can adapt yourself to needing less sleep
There are physiological certainties that cannot be disputed. One of those certainties is that there is no way to manipulate your sleep. The more sleep deprived you are the worse you will be in terms of cognitive function and ultimately physical performance. People fail to realise how sleepy they actually are. This idea that you can train yourself to need less sleep is dangerous as it has serious implications on things like work, driving, sex, general awareness/alertness, appetite, cognition and emotions.
You can’t cheat sleep!
Daytime dozing is a sign of laziness
Falling asleep during the day isn’t a personality defect or an indicator of lazy behaviour. What it does signify however, is that the person is clearly sleep deprived. This essentially means that the people who feel fatigued, tired or sleepy throughout the day are not getting enough, regular sleep. It’s not just about sleeping well the night before but having consistent sleep night after night. For those of you who are not meeting your sleep needs you will most definitely suffer from this whilst at work.
And there you have it! A nice, comprehensive list of sleep myths debunked by yours truly, Millbrook Contract Beds. Sleeping isn’t just a science and an art it’s also a lifestyle. And how well you sleep defines much of your daily, waking life.
Share some of these facts with your friends when the topic of sleep comes up or you hear somewhere regurgitating a sleep myth.
If you read our last blog you’ll know about some of the most common sleep myths that are perpetuated in modern times that many people seem to take as fact. Well, Millbrook Contract Beds has had enough of all these sleep myths as fact malarkey and we’re taking matters into our own hands!
So continuing our rundown on de-mything these sleep myths…
All you need is 8 hours
Striving for the 8 hour standard is preferable but not always essential. When you hear people talk about getting the optimal sleeping time of 8 hours per night it is based on scientific studies yet its case specific. Everyone has slightly different requirements when it comes to sleeping conditions and sleeping times vary depending on age. Some people only need 6 hours of sleep to function while others may need 8 or even 9 hours.
The recommended sleeping time for most people in general is approximately 8.
Falling asleep in front of the TV
A common sleep myth that still circulates around is that falling asleep in front of the television is a good method for beating insomnia. The fact of the matter is; television is stimulating. It is designed to draw you in and your brain functions on a level that is not one of winding down for bed. This same concept applies to computers and mobile phones. These activities all interfere with sleep.
Insomnia only happens to those who suffer from depression
This is entirely untrue. Insomnia can affect anyone at anytime. A variety of factors contribute to insomnia and they can range from diet, medications, restless leg syndrome (RLS) or general stress. Some people, with no pre-existing medical conditions, can suffer with bouts of insomnia for periods that last up to a month or so.
If you can’t sleep you should stay in bed
This is actually dependent, once again, on the individual. Generally speaking though, if you cannot get to sleep then staying in bed is not really the answer. Your mind and body feel restless and you’ll just end up lying there thinking about the fact that you cannot sleep and therefore start to worry about the fact that you cannot sleep. The best solution is to do something like read a book until you feel sleepy again. The longer you stay in bed worrying the more and more you will eventually begin to associate your bed with negative thoughts.
Your bed should be a place of positive energy where you feel warm, comfortable and safe. Your last sanctuary!
And that’s just the tip of the sleep myth iceberg – there’s still more myths out there that Millbrook Contract Beds wishes to de-myth permanently! Keep with us, there’s a third part coming soon. In the meantime, sleep well!
You’ve probably read and heard a lot of sleep myths over time, perhaps overheard in conversation or read in a magazine somewhere, but the truth is, many supposed “facts” about sleep are actually myths that are continually perpetuated by other people throughout the years! Millbrook Contract Beds is here to put some of these myths to bed, if you’ll excuse the pun!
Drink yourself to sleep
One of the most widely spread sleep myths are that drinking copious amounts of alcohol will help you sleep better.
It seems logical… you stagger back home from a night out and you pass out on your bed. It seems like you are going to fall deeply into an unconscious state for hours and hours. However, how many people know that is simply not the case. Sleep is disrupted. Just because you fall asleep more quickly, during the night the alcohol in your system may cause you to wake up, become dehydrated and find it difficult to drift off into a deep enough sleep. Specifically, you get less REM sleep which means your body will not repair itself as effectively.
I’ll sleep at the weekend
Another very common sleep myth is that you can catch up on missed sleep at the weekend. This is something most of us are guilty of. The problem is when you disrupt your sleep pattern during the week and try to catch up with it at the weekend you actually end up feeling even more tired. It’s not really possible to catch-up on sleep this way – you have to establish a solid, regular sleeping pattern. It’s as simple as that.
Power napping is the way forward
First of all, how many jobs allow for this type of thing? Maybe you could sneak a power nap in during a lunch break, but in all honesty, it’s never that great of an idea. Power napping came into fashion in the UK during the 1980’s for people in high pressure job. Now a quick nap can indeed rejuvenate you for the working day but you need to be disciplined with the timing and keep the nap under 15 minutes and avoid taking them too late in the afternoon, preferably no later than 3pm! Sleep for too long, too late, you’ll only wake-up even worse off than you were! Fact.
Broken sleep is bad for you
There seems to be a widespread belief out there thanks to those troublesome sleep myths that the best type of sleep involves sleeping continuously and non-stop without any periods of wakefulness. Broken sleep isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Sleep typically runs in 90-minute cycles and it’s not unusual to wake in between them. If you don’t see it as a problem your body and mind will benefit.
Those are just a handful of the most common sleep myths, there are many more. But we’re saving them for another blog! Millbrook Contract Beds bids you a good night and hopes that you remember to speak up the next time you hear someone uttering these sleep myths as fact!
You’ve just been schooled!
Recently, WHICH?, one of the best product review sites in the country did a little poll on the top mattress brands in the UK. We here at Millbrook were included in their poll and ended up in the Top 5.
“WHICH? focus on consumer issues and ensure that you, the consumer, have the information to make the right choices – whether that’s by reviewing products or providing independent advice you can trust.”
Now there were three aspects of the poll that needed to factor in to deciding who was placed where and why in the rankings. These aspects covered the following:
–Value for money
There were multiple and recognisable brand names included in their report including Vi-Spring, Tempur, Dunlopillo, Marks & Spencer, Harrison, John Lewis, Dreams and Sleepmasters. And of course, yours truly.
The results were interesting. Some of the brands scored high on comfort and durability but low on value for money or vice versa.
Vi-Spring received a satisfaction score of 85%, with five stars for comfort and for durability, and three stars for value for money.
Tempur came second with a score of 82%, five stars for both comfort and durability, but just two for value for money.
Tied third were Dunlopillo and Marks & Spencer (81%),
Tied fourth were Millbrook (that’s us!) and Harrison (80%)
Fifth, and looking very lonely, was John Lewis (79%).
At the bottom of the list, outside the top five, came Dreams (58%) and Sleepmasters (63%).
All of the top four brands received five stars for comfort and durability.
Only two of the top five however – that’s Marks & Spencer and Millbrook – got four stars for value for money!
This is something we’re particularly proud of as we pretty much rated well for not just our comfort and durability factors, but we also were unbeaten in terms of value for money. To us, that was an incredible victory and validation for our manufacturing techniques and all the hard work that goes into creating some of the finest bedding and bedroom furniture in the country today.
Time to celebrate!
A recent report has highlighted a number of top issues from travellers staying in hotels across the world.
It’s something that we’ve probably all done at one point or another – complain, but just how many complaints sit at the top of all issues?
If you are in the service industry, you probably focus on a number of issues. Is there a smile for your guests when they arrive? Are the general facilities good? Is everything clean and regularly maintained?
Contract beds are something that are not often focused on when it comes to customer service, perhaps because they are often hidden under sheets and a duvet and for the most part, many people who own and run hotels, do not necessarily have to sleep in the rooms they’re letting out.
So as an interesting blog, today we thought we’d highlight some top gripes from travellers around the world based on a recent report.
There were a lot of positives from people which pretty much ranged from the budget right through to the luxury, suggesting that size isn’t everything, but a considerable amount of travellers claimed that they had at least one complaint during a stay at a hotel.
Surprisingly, lighting came out as being a bit of a gripe. Some travellers said there was not enough light in the rooms they were staying in. That extended to naff bed lamps or worse still, lamps that were not working at all.
Second on the list – and of high importance to travellers was poor heating or air condition. It was either ridiculously hot or cold. Obviously everyone has their own ideal temperature and this is something that all hotels have issues with. You can’t keep everyone happy right?
A massive amount of people complained about uncomfortable beds though. And this should make you sit up and listen. Many of the budget hotels have been criticised for beds that were far from comfortable, with one person claiming that a well known chain literally had a metal contraption with a mattress on the top.
Small bathrooms were given the thumbs down too, where guests felt that the hotel tried to fit too much in to a cramped space or had simply ‘stuck a shower in’ to the room in the corner.
Noisy neighbours also played a big part. However, this could be due again to personal preference and what kind of sleeper you actually are.
For many who sleep as soon as their heads touch the pillow, noise usually isn’t a problem, but if you’re someone who needs it quiet enough to hear a pin drop, even the lowest of noise could stop you getting sleep.
Finally – and this was a big one – Outdated décor was slammed by many people. In one incidence, a traveller stated that for the room rate they ended up paying, they could have stayed down the road in a modern hotel for the same price. So they were very unhappy with the early eighties décor that greeted them when they checked in.
Whether it’s of use or not, it’s interesting to see what people don’t like about hotels, but as we’ve said before, you cannot keep everyone happy!
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